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Arkansas tops list for early education



Little Rock, Arkansas – Based on a new study, Arkansas ranks as the best state in the country when it comes to those developmental years.

The study, by Wallethub, ranks states across 12 key factors. Arkansas sits at the top of the list based on access to pre-k, as well as the quality of pre-k education.

According to State officials, 85 to 90% of a child’s brain develops in those early years. That is why they focus on making sure quality pre-k is available to everyone here in Arkansas.

“I think the investment in pre-k along with head start and some of our federal childcare money have really created the access for that three and four-year-old population and I think that’s the acknowledgment of this report,” DHS Division of Childcare and Childhood Education Director Tonya Williams said.

In order to make sure they are developing at the right pace, they also put an emphasis on early intervention and screening kids.

“To make sure they are meeting those developmental milestones is imperative and then how we act on those children that are delayed in some of those developmental milestones providing early intervention is an investment,” ADE Early Childhood Programs Director Lori Bridges said.

It’s not just the curriculum but the teachers that make all the difference, state officials said.